Double Trap shooter and 2012 Games medal hopeful William Chetcuti will be the country’s flag-bearer in today week’s opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium, in east London.

The announcement was made last night by Maltese Olympic Committee president Lino Farrugia Sacco during a reception at the Excelsior Hotel where the athletes and technical staff representing Team Malta at the Games, which come to a close on August 12, were the main guests.

Farrugia Sacco handed the Malta flag to Chetcuti in the presence of chef-de-mission Julian Pace Bonello, Director of Sport Mark Cutajar, general secretary Joe Cassar and Parliamentary Secretary for Sport Clyde Puli who were among a host of distin-guished personalities present for the occasion.

At the London Games, the other Maltese athletes taking part will be Diane Borg and Rachid Chouhal (athletics) and Nicola Muscat and Andrew Chetcuti (swimming).

For Chetcuti, 27, this will be the second time that he will carry the Malta flag in an Olympic Games opening ceremony.

In fact, in 2004 the shooter from Manikata also led Team Malta during the athletes’ march past at the Athens Stadium.

Four years ago, it was judoka Marcon Bezzina who was handed the honour to carry the Maltese flag during the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics held inside the mythical Bird’s Nest Stadium.

Close in Beijing

Chetcuti’s best result in the Olympics was in 2008 in China when he finished eighth in the Double Trap competition.

On that occasion, he missed the barrage finals by a whisker after failing to hit the target in a shoot-off with three other com-petitors.

His eighth place was the best position ever attained by a Maltese competitor at the Olym-pic Games.

Yesterday, it also became known that shooting, with 390 competitors from 108 countries in the overall London entry list, is ranked among the top four of the most universal sport along with athletics, swimming and judo.

Meanwhile, Andrew Chetcuti and Muscat will be the first Maltese athletes to make the trip to London as on Sunday they will be leaving the island to start a short training camp ahead of the Games.

William Chetcuti, Borg and Chouhal are expected to leave with the rest of the MOC contingent next week.

YEAR     CITY           FLAG-BEARER            SPORT

2012     London       William Chetcuti   Shooting
2008     Beijing      Marcon Bezzina     Judo
2004     Athens       William Chetcuti   Shooting
2000     Sydney       Laurie Pace        Judo
1996     Atlanta      Carol Galea        Athletics
1992     Barcelona    Laurie Pace        Judo
1988     Seoul        Joanna Agius       Archery
1984     Los Angeles  Peter Bonello      Boardsailing
1980     Moscow       Frans Chetcuti     Shooting
1972     Munich       Peppi Grech        Shooting
1968     Mexico City  Louis Grasso       Chef-de-mission
1960     Rome         Christopher Dowling Swimming
1948     London       Francis Zammit Cutajar Athletics
1936     Berlin       Godfrey Craig       Swimming

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